After serving in World War II and surviving Pearl Harbor, Yater went to work in the jewelry industry. He spent years as an apprentice before he founded C.M. Yater Manufacturing Jewelry Company in 1951. In 1996, he moved the store to North Dallas and renamed it C.M. Yater & Sons Fine Jewelry Manufacturing.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Bobbie; sons Greg and Mark Yater; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army, 8787 Stemmons Freeway, Suite 800, Dallas, Texas 75247.